County seeks to do road repairs

Builder wants more time to finish job

April 11, 1999|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

The developer of Seven Oaks wants more time to repair the potholed, deteriorating roads in the upscale Odenton subdivision. But Anne Arundel County officials want to take over the job, saying the company, Halle Development Corp., has had plenty of time.

Halle, a Silver Spring company, is taking its case to the Board of Appeals next month.

Residents who have been paying repair bills for flat tires, bent axles and worn shock absorbers are at their wits' end.

"We're in an absolute desperate situation when it comes to roads," said Zoe Draughn, who has lived in the 8-year-old community since 1992. "They're dangerous. The glass coming up cuts people's tires."

Glass was mixed with rough asphalt when the roads were built.

While Halle seeks more time, the county wants to call the $1.5 million bond that Halle secured to build the roads and repair Blue Water, Charter Oaks and Town Center boulevards and Quiet Spring Drive.

John A. Morris, spokesman for the Public Works Department, said the county has been negotiating with Halle over how to fix the roads since 1996, when the company first tried to turn them over to the county for public use.

However, the county declined to take over the roads that year because they failed a government inspection, Morris said.

County officials believe the soil cement, which forms the base of the roads, was not mixed properly when the roads were built.

"The Halle company would like to go to specific spots and do the patch work," Morris said. "The county would like to tear out material down to the ground and replace it."

The county has agreed to several extensions of the agreement that holds the developer responsible for the roads until they are turned over to the county. But officials denied Halle's request for another extension last summer.

Instead, they notified the developer and his insurer that the county would aim to call the company's $1.5 million bond and repair the roads, Morris said.

Halle appealed the denial of the extension, and the Appeals Board is to decide after the hearing May 12 whether the company should be granted more time.

Steve Fleischman, vice president of Halle Development, could not be reached for comment. The company's lawyer, Steven P. Resnick, did not return repeated phone calls.

Meanwhile, residents are left bouncing along the roads.

"We still suffer from bent rims, detached fuel lines. One bump, and you fly off your motorcycle," said David Halbritter, who has lived in the subdivision since 1995.

"We get no respect back here. It makes the neighborhood really, really bad."

Pub Date: 4/11/99

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